How Many Sq Ft Does a 5 Gallon Bucket of Paint Cover?

Painting any area requires proper preparation to cover the whole perimeter. There should be a hypothetical ratio of the quantity of paint and coverage of it. Usually, 5-gallon buckets, sprayers, strainers are primarily used in painting any room.

A common question regarding it is “how many square feet does a 5-gallon bucket of paint cover?”. If you know the basics, it will be helpful for other paint and cost management.

How Many Sq Ft Does a 5 Gallon Bucket of Paint Cover

You cannot but spend excessive or too little paint to cover the whole room. It also brings redundancies to paint the surfaces well. Either you miss part of the area or fail to do the proper coating. So, knowing the measurement (example: 5-gallon paint coverage) is essential.

So, I have decided to assist people by sharing valuable information about paint coverage. Here, you will get the ideas on calculating paint quantity for a distinct space. Check the details in the latter part:

How Many Sq Ft Does a 5 Gallon Bucket of Paint Cover?

In short, a 5-gallon paint can cover 1800-2000sqft. whereas one gallon covers 350-400sqft. area. But this quantity can fluctuate under different circumstances. Here are some special tips for measuring the paint coverage.

When you measure the space, calculate the area round to the nearest foot. Let me assume that you have cathedral ceilings with sloping walls. In this case, I am excluding some areas like windows, doors, etc. Also, you should add 10% waste permission to add in the whole quantity automatically. Now, you should follow these facts:

First – Wall Height

It is a mandatory task before you start using 5-gallon paint. Take the measuring tape and start measuring from the floor to the ceiling top.

Second – Perimeter of Wall

Take the tape and start measuring each wall’s length. Then, sum up all the gathered measurements and write down the result. It helps to get the total horizontal distance or the perimeter.

Third – Length and Width of Ceiling

You can follow like earlier steps to measure it. Ignore it if you don’t plan to paint the ceiling.

Fourth – Sloping Ceilings

As I already said, if you have sloping ceilings, you should measure that too. Usually, sloping walls create triangular-type wall areas. You need to multiply wall length (L) at its base with its height (H) in such context. Then, dividing the outcome (L X H) by 2 to gain the proper measurements of sloping walls.

After having these measurements, you can start painting accordingly. Here is the way to calculate about paint coverage:


Width (W) x Height (H) = Area for painting in square feet.

If we consider one gallon paint has the ability to cover 350-400 sq. feet area, then – Total area/coverage per gallon (350-400 sq. feet) for the whole project.

Example (with the formula)

In the USA, the standard room dimension is 11 feet by 12 feet. It may appear different depending on the homeowners. You can see rooms with 12 feet by 14 feet, 14 feet by 16 feet or 12 feet by 16 feet too.

As an example, I am taking the first one.

Height – 11 feet
Width – 12 feet
Then, area = 132sqft.

So, the paint you require = 132/400 gallon = 0.33 gallon

Generally, a house’s total dimension is almost 2000 sq. feet. So, you will need a 5-gallon bucket of paint.

Necessary Tools for 5-Gallon Paint Coverage:

You can use several handy tools for getting better sturdy results with maximum coverage. Here is the list of these tools:

  • Bucket
  • Paint sticks
  • Strainer
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint bucket spout

5-gallon Bucket:

5-gallon Bucket

Bucket is a must-need item for painting any space. You can pour paints into the bucket. Popular brands like Hudson, Petco, Seachoice, Chemical Guys, Meguiar, etc. are great to meet your purposes.

You should look at several things while choosing 5-gallon bucket. It should be made of BPA-free, long-lasting plastic material. Again, some features like bucket lid, sturdy handle, easy wash, etc. should be there.

5-gallon Paint Sticks:

5-gallon Paint Sticks

You need a hand (paint stick) to stir the paint inside the bucket well. A paint stick helps you making a good mixture of paints (even several). It also helps thinning the paint for appropriate application.

A good quality hardwood paint stick is Henry Bukke 5-gallon paint stick. It is made of hardwood with proper length and width. You can use it in mixing wax, resins, epoxy, and so on.

5-gallon Paint Strainer:

5-gallon Paint Strainer

When you want to paint your room, the paint should be filtered well. Raw paint may have debris, flakes, and other impurities. Even dust, lumps, etc. mix with paint when you are running the project.

A paint strainer is basically a bag that you keep attached to bucket inside. Then, you can pour the paint through it and filtered paint stores in the bucket. Cascade Tools, Patelai, Boao, CDF are some popular paint strainers.

5-gallon Paint Sprayer:

5-gallon Paint Sprayer

Suppose you have a multistory building, you may not like taking the hassles of carrying the painting stuff here and there. A high-quality paint sprayer can be the best idea if you want to paint a larger area.

You can attach hose to this sprayer and spray the paint on hard-to-reach areas easily. Also, you have the option to paint directly from a bucket with its suction tube. Graco Magnum cart airless paint sprayer is one of the best paint sprayers.

5-gallon Paint Bucket Spout:

5-gallon Paint Spout

You can attach a paint bucket spout to make the painting task more flexible. A spout looks like a plastic pipe; one side is attached to the bucket and another one is open to flow and pour paint to bucket. These paint bucket pourers prevent the spilling of paints.

Also, you can save time on painting. Allway Tools, Encore Plastics, Foampro, etc. are some popular spouts.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much paint is needed for a 12’x16’ room?

Considering one-gallon paint covers 400sqft., the required paint will be ((12×16)/400)) gallon or 0.48 gallon.

How much does a gallon of paint cover?

Upon the information from experts, a gallon of paint can cover 350-400 square feet area in average.

How much paint do you need for a 2000 sq. feet area?

You will need a 5-gallon bucket of paint for the whole area. It can vary upon the way you paint.

How many layers do you need to paint the room?

It is always better to do a second coat, including a primer. A single coat of paint may fade or stain soon. But multiple coats can perform better. If it is a 132sqft. room, you need 0.33 gallons of paint for a single coat (400sqft. per gallon).

So, 0.66 gallons of paint will be enough for painting the full room. Based on these statistics, (5×2) or 10 gallons of paint will be enough to paint 2 coats for a 2000 sq. ft. area.


So, you now have the ideas about “how many sq. ft. does a 5-gallon bucket of paint cover”. You can follow the formulas to get the best possible result. Usually, the 5-gallon paint coverage is 2000 sq. ft. if we consider one gallon can cover 400 sq. ft. It may be less or more under different conditions. That’s all about painting with a 5-gallon bucket of paint.

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